Clinician-to-Clinician Update Clinician-to-Clinician Update

Pediatric Specialty Updates

June 2015 - Neonatology

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— Kari Roberts, MD

RDS in infants clinical trial

University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital’s NICU recently completed enrollment of patients in an open-label, randomized, multicenter clinical trial investigating the use of a laryngeal mask airway for surfactant administration in neonates with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). The study tracks the need for intubation and mechanical ventilation in the first 7 days of life, comparing infants who are maintained on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) alone to those administered surfactant via a laryngeal mask airway prior to being maintained on CPAP. RDS in newborns is caused by insufficiency of surfactant production and structural immaturity in the lungs. If laryngeal-mask airway administration is found to be effective, infants with RDS may benefit from surfactant medication while avoiding intubation and mechanical ventilation. The study is funded by the Minnesota Medical Foundation and Children’s Hospital Association. The primary investigator of this multicenter trial is neonatologist Kari Roberts, MD.


Neonatology, four other pediatric specialties nationally recognized

The Neonatal Unit at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital received the top ranking among Minnesota neonatology providers in the Best Children’s Hospitals 2015-2016 listings released June 9 by U.S News & World Report. Four other pediatric specialties – oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, and nephrology – were also nationally ranked in the report.

“We take great pride in knowing that our providers are at the top of their medical fields,” said Joseph Neglia, MD, physician-in-chief of the hospital.

The annual rankings evaluate children’s hospitals in 10 specialties, ranging from cancer services to urology. In establishing the rankings, U.S. News and World Report gathered clinical data from 184 pediatric centers and derived findings, in part, from previous surveys of pediatricians across the country. Final evaluations are based on a number of factors, including reputation, patient outcomes, safety and quality, clinical offerings, and infrastructure.

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— Renovated patient room in the NICU

Expanded NICU to open

University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital has announced the June opening of its renovated, expanded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The new 62-bed NICU will feature 13 additional beds, including 11 enhanced private rooms, 2 of which are designed for twins. The renovated rooms will provide more space for the family at the baby’s bedside when their baby is critically ill and with NICU staff continuously present. The private rooms will offer a private space for families as their babies grow stronger and begin to make the transition home.

Optimizing nutrition and growth for sick newborns

Sick newborns are at high risk for growth failure and poorer neurodevelopment. In a recent article, Michael Georgieff, MD, and Sara Ramel, MD, neonatologists at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, review the etiology of postnatal growth failure in sick infants, discussing the impact of undernutrition, changes in cellular metabolism, inflammation, and physiologic stress. They provide suggestions on managing and optimizing nutrition in this at-risk population. Their article appears in the January issue of Current Pediatrics Reports.

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